Two of the games coming up next on Netflix Games are from the New Zealand developers PikPok. Here’s an extended look at Shattered Remastered and Into The Dead 2: Unleashed and our chat with the team behind them.
Scheduled for release at some point in March 2022, we’ll see a remaster of a beloved brick breaker game called Shattered. We’ll also see the first-person zombie shooter Into The Dead 2 land onto the service.
Netflix Games first launched back in November 2022 and so far has been mostly reliant on pickups from established game studios for their modest library of mobile games. They’ve sourced games from Hyper Hippo Games, FrostyPop, Rogue Games, and GameLoft so far.
In recent months, we’ve also seen Netflix hiring lots of developers for its own internal efforts and even acquired the Finnish studio, Next Games.
PikPok Games is a brand new collaboration for Netflix. The studio is based in Wellington, New Zealand and was established back in 1997.
PikPok has also been beefing up its internal teams in recent months too. In February, they notably purchased Colombian developer, Wizard Fun Factory.
We spoke to the Chief Publishing Officer of PikPok games Karah Sutton asking about their two games coming to Netflix and given how new and fresh Netflix’s venture into the space, a little more on why they chose to work with the streaming service.
Can you talk about how the relationship with Netflix Gaming came about and what’s the lure of working with Netflix?
We had worked previously with a member of the Netflix team, and they reached out because they knew the quality we could deliver and thought our games would be a great fit for the platform. We’ve always sought to keep our finger on the pulse of new developments in the video games industry, and we’ve been present at launch on a lot of new platforms and devices over the years. This felt like something with the potential to be a major player on a new platform, delivering great experiences in an accessible way, which is always exciting to be part of.
Netflix Gaming is a relatively new venture for Netflix, what do they need to do to be successful in mobile gaming and gaming as a whole?
Something I’ve already observed from them is an openness to learning from game developers, whether about game design and player motivations or about what we’ve found to work from a marketing standpoint. They obviously have an incredible wealth of knowledge, and it’s refreshing to also see this coupled with a collaborative approach in their interactions with game developers.
What’s the benefit of having your games not need to financially support themselves with the likes of microtransactions?
The key thing we’re excited about is the opportunity to introduce our games to new and very different audiences, people who wouldn’t necessarily have considered a premium or a free-to-play game on a different platform.
How did this project come about? How long has it been in development? Were you fans of the original?
We had been considering remastering Shatter for a while, but were weighing up the best opportunity. So when Netflix reached out to us the timing was really serendipitous – it felt like the perfect celebration of the legacy and lasting popularity of the game. Some of their team were already fans of the game, and some had never played it before, but everyone seemed to agree that it would be wonderful for Shatter Remastered to be a Netflix game.
Has the original creators of the game been involved in the project in any way?
Yes! Our Chief Design Officer Andy Satterthwaite came up with the original concept and oversaw design of the original game, so he was always available to support the team and offer feedback and advice.
Says Tim Donnan, Experienced Audio Designer: “The soundtrack was also remastered by the original mixer Troy Kelly, with oversight by the composer Module.”
Beyond the new visuals, is there anything new from the game we can expect?
This is the first time the game has been available to play on mobile, which makes for a really fun and intuitive way to play, since controls are so integral to the experience. Everything about this remaster was done with an aim to make for the best possible player experience, from the soundtrack remaster to improved accessibility, all of which was extensively tested with external players made up of existing fans and those entirely unfamiliar with the game.
Into the Dead 2: Unleashed
Into the Dead 2 already exists as a free to play game – can you talk about the process and what had to change to adjust for Netflix Games? Will the old game be leaving the app store?
From Rob Green, Lead Game Designer on Into the Dead 2:
The free to play version will remain available, with both versions offering a unique way to play. We really saw this as an opportunity to present all the original content plus four years of updates to a set of players coming to the game fresh. We’ve reworked almost everything in the game with the goal of removing limitations so players could focus on causing maximum destruction, completing challenges and experiencing the zombie apocalypse survival stories.
Are there any new features or levels fans can be excited for in this new version of the game?
From Rob Green, Lead Game Designer on Into the Dead 2:
Into the Dead 2: Unleashed packages everything that has been added to and improved in the game in the four years since its release. We now have over 60 stages in the original story, 8 additional side stories, over 50 weapons, daily challenges and live events, plus reworked visuals and cutscenes and a streamlined unlock process. This is the culmination of everything fans have loved about the game, polished, strengthened, unleashed.
Sadly, we still don’t have a release date for either games (Netflix games typically land onto the mobile app without much fanfare) but we’ll be sure to check them out went they do.